Pesticides spur MA medical marijuana retail closures; 700 batches failed CA testing

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Cannabis cultivators, product manufacturers, retailers and laboratories coast-to-coast are facing closure, failed mandatory tests and increased scrutiny from regulators over pesticide concerns.

In Massachusetts, the state’s health department ordered medical marijuana dispensaries in Mashpee and Plymouth to shut because of concerns a cultivation facility used pesticides, which is prohibited for MMJ cultivation under state regulations.

According to the Cape Cod Times, the Massachusetts health department issued a cease-and-desist and quarantine order to M3 Ventures while the agency looks into concerns about the company’s use of pesticides at its cultivation facility. M3 Ventures, which does business as Triple M, is a registered marijuana dispensary with locations in Plymouth and Mashpee.

The dispensaries are required to suspend medical marijuana sales until further notice.

Representatives for the dispensaries say their grower thought he was using the right materials, but they can’t comment further until they meet with regulators.

Meanwhile, in California, more than 700 batches of marijuana or cannabis-manufactured goods failed pesticide testing, according to new state data.

The integrity of California’s testing program was shaken last month when Sacramento-based Sequoia Analytical Labs surrendered its license after state regulators found the facility was conducting faulty tests for pesticides.

In a statement posted on its website, the company blamed the flawed tests on a faulty instrument that failed to check for 22 of 66 required pesticides.

Sequoia said it terminated its lab director, who “knew about this and was secretly falsifying the results” since July 1.

Here are the basics surrounding the situation:

  • Sequoia reported it is seeking to have its license reinstated.
  • State regulators asked retailers and distributors to recall any batches tested by the company after July 1.
  • Any batches returned by consumers must be destroyed.
  • Products pulled back from a company’s inventory can be retested with state permission, or destroyed.
  • It’s likely many of those products already have been consumed.

– Associated Press